Couch to 5K
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Swich to running outside

Hello I'm new here so a little about myself. I'm over 50 and over 50 lbs overweight. I have been doing C25K and today I will be on day 2 of week 7. My question is how much different is it to run outside than inside? I am signed up for 5K on April 4th so I need to move outside soon. So far all of my runs have been inside on the track at my local YMCA because we have had a terrible winter and quite frankly I an too cheap to buy clothes to run in outside. When the weather breaks and I go outside t run will it be a huge adjustment?

9 Replies

Mark, I started the programme at the beginning of January. I have typically done 2 runs each week outdoors with 1 on a treadmill, I don't have any experience of an indoor running track. At the time I started, I owned a good merino wool base layer (top and leggings) and I used these underneath an old fleece top and shelol bottoms. I then bought some running tights and a lightweight top and used these on top of the merino layer. Later on I bought more tops / tights, mainly because I got the bug and it helped with motivation.

I am lucky that I live on the Coast in Hampshire and the temperature hasn't usually been a problem (I used a hat and gloves in the early weeks and sometimes a neck warmer too). More of a concern can be wind, and I make a point in checking the forecast before I go out. More than a F4 and I stay away from the seafront or delay (or seek out the treadmill). I also plan my routes to try to avoid running directly into the wind (although I messed that one up today).

I love being outside, enjoying a bit of sunshine, interacting with the many other people who are out there, varying my routes a bit for interest.

I think if you look at the clothes you have and find a way to wear 2 layers top and bottom, and take my advice about wind onboard, you will get a whole new lease of life to your running by going outside. I seem to get my better times from my outdoor runs and I certainly feel more energised after them.


Many people think running outside is harder but I didn't find that when I made the transition. It's just different. What I did find harder is getting the right pace outside as this is so easy on the treadmill as you just set it and away you go.

If you go outside just run very slowly and you should be fine.

Running is running so well done on getting to week 7. About the clothes thing - once you get going you will feel hotter so a long sleeved top should be ok at the minute.

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I've only run outside and i started in January.....apart from a decent pair of running shoes I've just used a cotton T-shirt and track suit bottoms and it's been fine... the way i look at it, I'm going to get hot and sweaty if the weather's good or bad. I do agree with Coddfish about the wind, if its very strong avoid running and snow of course.

I love running outside especially when its raining...i just feel more alive for want of a better expression. plan your route tho...this is a really good website for planning routes. good luck and i hope you enjoy it.


I've only ever run outside. I was once 50 odd pounds overweight and am 57. I am now 52 lbs lighter and running like a girl. I had never run before c25k. Now i can't stop

It's a life saver it really is


I'm 53 and now 52lb lighter than my heaviest, and run faster than I ever could have when I was a younger woman :-)

I started C25K on a treadmill, and moved outside on around week 5. To be honest, I doubt I would have carried on running had it just been inside as I found it so boring, but love it outside. It's cold and wet here today (not *that* cold, as I am in th UK), but I'll be out there anyway. Looking forward to it :-)


My experience is very similar to MissWobble's (from a weight loss, age and running perspective, anyhow. However some might say I run 'like a girl' but I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not). Running outside is very rewarding. Different routes, different conditions, it's all part of the experience. A lot of people feel that everyone is looking at them and that they feel inhibited by that. If that's true of you, then dismiss it immediately. No one is looking at you. Anyone who does is jealous and wishes they could do what you do and they can't.

Go on, give it a try.

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I ran on the treadmill from day 1 until graduating in a parkrun. I don't think running outside is much harder, just different. But I ran on virtually flat tarmac round a lake. If/when I eventually hit hills, mud, rain etc I might feel differently. Set the incline on the treadmill to 1% to counteract the lack of wind resistance. The difficult thing is getting pace right and of course the head gremlins.

Do a parkrun you'll love it. All those people cheering you on will make you feel fantastic when you finish.


Running outsidei s different. I just made the switch. The hardest thing for me was settling on a good pace and dealing with the fact there are hills outside lol. Someone posted advice for me to slow down and then slow down again. Thats pretty much right. It took me two runs to figure my pace out and i love running outside now. Good luck!


Running outside is different to running on a treadmill as your gait and stride is different. However as you don't run on a treadmill your running should be the identical. Why do you need to buy different clothes to run outside ? If its cold then possibly you may need some over layers in the winter but if you are waiting for the weather to break then just wear what you currently wear.


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